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Recession likely in 2009, says SNB head

The president of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has said the country's economy is likely to contract next year.

"In September, expectations were that there will still be growth next year. But now, we're looking at a contraction for 2009," Jean-Pierre Roth told an audience in Lausanne.

Roth said Swiss consumption was deteriorating. In September the SNB pegged growth at between 1.5 and two per cent for 2008 but has not published any predictions for 2009.

In a surprise move last week, the central bank cut interest rates by 100 basis points to one per cent.

Roth also said the SNB had no further plans to shore up UBS, the country's largest bank.